Chasing the feel of watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Here are the movies we recommend you watch after Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
In the year of the Netflix TV Show Maniac, another absurdist title stole critics’ hearts. Sorry to Bother You is a movie set in an alternate reality, where capitalism and greed are accentuated. Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta) is a guy called Cassius who struggles to pay his bills. However, when at a tele-marketing job an old-timer tells him to use a “white voice”, he starts moving up the ranks of his bizarre society. A really smart movie that will be mostly enjoyed by those who watch it for its entertaining value, and not so much for its commentary. It is like a Black Mirror episode stretched into a movie.
Led by fine-tuned performances from Ben Whishaw and Hugh Grant at the top of their game, this three-episode series dives headfirst into the sex scandal between Norman Scott and former Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe with devastating wit. Neither character is treated as morally superior over the other, as both become consumed by the media frenzy surrounding the English justice system's thirst for controversy. And Russell T Davies' writing and Stephen Frears' direction allow the show's tone to pivot from brilliantly timed notes of humor to profoundly sad stretches of tragedy and drama. Given its short length, A Very English Scandal seems to be designed for binge-watching, but it should still reward patient and attentive viewing.
There is no shortage of craft and ambition in The English, a miniseries that employs tropes of classic Westerns, like the soulful anti-hero and the loyal sidekick, but also twists them enough to make them feel fresh. For instance, instead of typical cowboys, we have as our leads Cornelia Locke (Emily Blunt), an aristocratic Englishwoman, and Eli Whipp (Chaske Spencer), a native who also served in the US army. Both of them are terribly out of place in the Wild West, but they’re fueled with the kind of vengeful drive that leads to bloody outcomes, which are themselves staples of the genre.
The English is sweeping, both in scope and scenery, and solemn. Fans will appreciate how seriously the show treats the genre, and they'll take pleasure in its familiarity, from the twisty mysteries and brutal disputes to the gritty backdrops and arid vistas. In this instance, the show’s ambition perfectly fits the genre.
Starring Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Kelli Garner and Patricia Clarkson. Lars and the Real Girl is a funny and thought-provoking look at the psychology of loneliness and the healing power of love. I rented this a few years back because of Ryan Gosling - he had just blown me away in Fracture so I was trying to catch up on his other movies. It was an unexpected gem. One of the sweetest movies I have ever seen - it was kind of like a fairy tale. With a blow-up doll. Yes, that's right.
This satire takes place in the year 2033 when it’s possible to “upload” oneself to a specific software-powered afterlife. In the variety of afterlives possible, there is no heaven or hell. Instead, class struggles persist: ads are everywhere, you have to pay for data, and there are many levels of luxury available.
Created by Greg Daniels (The Office, Parks and Recreation), Upload is an easy and funny show with an interesting and relevant premise. If you liked The Good Place, Silicon Valley, or Black Mirror, you will surely love this.
As is sometimes the case with multi-genre shows, Paper Girls starts off slow and gives us a lot to process at the onset. But if you give it some time, the eight-episode series delivers both on the sci-fi and drama fronts. Sure, it could benefit from a bigger CGI budget, but the world it imagines about timekeepers and time benders is inspired and intriguing, certainly worth exploring as much as we do the lore behind shows like Doctor Who and Loki.
That said, the series is at its best when it centers on its mundane leads, the titular paper girls. The conversations they engage in and the epiphanies they have are gut-wrenching, not only because of their sentiment but also because of their truth. These 12-year-olds are confused and anxious and awkward and lonely—preteen girls on the brink of adolescence. The show doesn’t shy away from those qualities and parallels their volatility with sci-fi elements. The result is a nicely balanced story, equal parts thrilling and touching. It’s the perfect watch for people who enjoy fares like Back to the Future, E.T., and Stranger Things, which are themselves perfect blends of the sci-fi and coming-of-age genres.
Set in 2032, The Peripheral finds a protagonist in Flynne Fisher (Chloe Grace Moretz), a cash-strapped but ambitious woman who gets stuck between alternate timelines and realities after testing out an experimental gaming device. She stays for the money and safety promised to her, but quickly finds out that she’s getting more than what she bargained for in this twisty, action-packed thriller.
The Peripheral is worth a try if you enjoyed HBO’s Westworld (whose creators also serve as producers in this show), or if you’re just generally intrigued by all thing tech and sci-fi. The world-building is complex, sometimes to the point of confusion, but Moretz is a pro at grounding scenes and making sure she brings us along on the ride. If you’re looking to get lost in a realm at once real and unreal, then this show could be for you.